By Nicole Bravata,Program Director, Thanyapura
Stress is a killer and nobody knows that better than executives. The grinding pace of our 24/7 modern life coupled with the pressures of managing family, career and finances can quickly escalate from a couple of sleepless night to anxiety attacks to a stroke or heart attack.
Stress is normal. From an evolutionary standpoint, we are hardwired to manage it. During times of stress, metabolism increases and creates a burst of energy causing all our body’s systems to react – hormones are released, heart rate increases, muscles tighten, the digestive system shuts down – putting the body in “fight or flight” mode.
Numerous studies show that job related stress is far and away the major source of stress for working adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades. Increased levels of job stress are associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension, substance abuse and other chronic disorders.
Due to the very nature of their jobs and responsibilities, business executives are at high risk for stress. Executives that don’t learn how to manage it properly will inevitably pass it down to managers, creating a domino effect that chokes out creativity, productivity and profitability.
For most CEOs, presidents and business owners, learning to manage stress usually requires tracking stress, pinpointing the sources of stress and developing strategies to manage it. Time pressed executives want quick-win solutions that work. Here are four proven strategies to help manage stress.
- Wear a health tracker capable of monitoring heart rate, sleep and movement. Heart rate variability (HRV), for example, is an effective indicator of stress and heart health.
- Exercise regularly. Nothing beats stress better than exercise. Spending at least 30 minutes a day will substantially alter blood and brain chemistry and keep stress at bay.
- Manage your diet. A poor diet stresses your body at a functional level. Reducing caffeine, sugar and alcohol intake will help your body better respond to stress.
- Meditation has been clinically proven to reduce stress. Learning and incorporating mindful breathing techniques into your daily regimen will greatly improve your response to stress.
Stress is a combination of environmental factors, behaviour and perception. Ultimately, how you view and internalize stress has very real consequences on your business, family, and health. Executives, especially those between the ages 40-60, have the most to gain and the most to lose if their health deteriorates.
Take control of stress before it takes control of you.
Nicole Bravata is a registered nurse from the United States with more than 16 years of nursing experience in intensive care and integrative oncology. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Michigan in 2003.
Nicole is certified and experienced in therapies such as ozone and oxidative therapies, IPT, intravenous antioxidants including vitamin C, chelation, colon hydrotherapy, PEMF, and more.
Her love for Thailand began in 2011 when she started traveling to Chiang Mai and Bangkok to train medical staff to alternative and natural therapies for healing and detoxification. She has managed clinics in the US and Thailand and serves as an educator for integrative medical therapies, as well as raw and plant based nutrition for healing.
Nicole’s experience working with patients healing from cancer has fueled her passion for preventative lifestyle modification, and she now is the Program Director for Thanyapura Integrative Health Center and an educator for Thanyapura World.